MIAMI BEACH — MSC Cruises had a surprise for U.S. Armed Forces veterans attending Travel Weekly’s CruiseWorld convention here on Veteran’s Day Thursday, inviting them to sail for free on the MSC Seashore’s inaugural Caribbean cruise, which departs Miami on Nov. 17.
The vets — all of them now travel advisors — were honored at a CruiseWorld breakfast sponsored by the cruise line that was hosted by Ken Muskat, MSC Cruises USA’s COO, and Kris Endreson, MSC Cruises USA’s vice president of strategic sales.
“As the proud daughter of a veteran, I would ask that all the veterans in the room to please stand,” Endreson said.
Endreson then invited veterans on stage for a group photo. About 15 to 20 vets walked up.
“Hold on, that’s not all,” Endreson said after photos of the group were snapped.
“As a very small token of our appreciation, we would like to invite you all on our inaugural next week on the MSC Seashore,” Endreson said to rousing cheers from CruiseWorld attendees.
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The MSC Seashore actually entered service in August, sailing a season of Mediterranean cruise before repositioning to the U.S. The ship will be officially named during a call at MSC’s new private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, on Nov. 18. The event is also a christening of Ocean Cay, which opened in late 2019 and closed shortly afterward due to the pandemic.
Following the inaugural celebration, the MSC Seashore will begin its season of seven-night Caribbean cruises from Miami on Nov. 20.
Preceding MSC Cruises’ surprise for vets, CruiseWorld and MSC showed a recorded interview of MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato done by Travel Weekly’s Johanna Jainchill. They touched on several topics, including the Seashore and other upcoming new ships, the investments MSC has made to grow in the U.S., the importance of travel advisors in growing MSC’s presence and MSC’s sustainability initiatives.
When the interview concluded, MSC Cruises USA president Ruben Rodriguez spoke live at CruiseWorld and discussed what makes Ocean Cay different than other cruise lines’ private islands, the MSC the Seashore’s features and amenities and the investment MSC is making in a new terminal in Miami.
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